Document Detail

Lost in translation or deliberate falsification? Genetic analyses reveal erroneous museum data for historic penguin specimens.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20007185     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Historic museum specimens are increasingly used to answer a wide variety of questions in scientific research. Nevertheless, the scientific value of these specimens depends on the authenticity of the data associated with them. Here we use individual-based genetic analyses to demonstrate erroneous locality information for archive specimens from the late nineteenth century. Specifically, using 10 microsatellite markers, we analysed 350 contemporary and 43 historic yellow-eyed penguin (Megadyptes antipodes) specimens from New Zealand's South Island and sub-Antarctic regions. Factorial correspondence analysis and an assignment test strongly suggest that eight of the historic specimens purportedly of sub-Antarctic origin were in fact collected from the South Island. Interestingly, all eight specimens were obtained by the same collector, and all are currently held in the same museum collection. Further inspection of the specimen labels and evaluation of sub-Antarctic voyages did not reveal whether the erroneous data are caused by incorrect labelling or whether deliberate falsification was at play. This study highlights a promising extension to the well-known applications of assignment tests in molecular ecology, which can complement methods that are currently being applied for error detection in specimen data. Our results also serve as a warning to all who use archive specimens to invest time in the verification of collection information.
Sanne Boessenkool; Bastiaan Star; R Paul Scofield; Philip J Seddon; Jonathan M Waters
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2009-12-09
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society     Volume:  277     ISSN:  1471-2954     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  2010 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-02-25     Completed Date:  2010-06-18     Revised Date:  2013-05-31    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101245157     Medline TA:  Proc Biol Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1057-64     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Zoology, University of Otago, 340 Great King Street, Dunedin, New Zealand.
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MeSH Terms
DNA / analysis,  isolation & purification
Extinction, Biological
Genetics, Population
Microsatellite Repeats / genetics
New Zealand
Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
Research Design*
Spheniscidae / genetics*
Reg. No./Substance:

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